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Original Article
July 2000

Gastroesophageal Reflux Contributing to Chronic Sinus Disease in Children: A Prospective Analysis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatric Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (Drs Phipps, Wood, and Gibson) and Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (Dr Cochran), Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pa.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000;126(7):831-836. doi:10.1001/archotol.126.7.831

Objective  To explore the possible role of gastroesophageal reflux (GER) in children with chronic sinus disease (CSD).

Design  A descriptive prevalence study of the frequency of GER and nasopharyngeal reflux in children with CSD.

Setting  Pediatric otolaryngology and gastroenterology outpatient clinics of a regional medical center.

Patients and Other Participants  Consecutive children aged 2 to 18 years referred for evaluation of CSD from December 1, 1996, through April 30, 1998.

Interventions  Participants underwent 24-hour monitoring with dual pH probes, and participants (or their parents) completed questionnaires before treatment and at specific intervals after treatment.

Main Outcome Measures  Prevalence of GER and nasopharyngeal reflux in children with CSD, and the response of sinusitis to treatment in those diagnosed with GER.

Results  Nineteen (63%) of 30 patients demonstrated esophageal reflux, which is well above the expected prevalence of GER in the healthy general population. Six (32%) of these 19 patients demonstrated nasopharyngeal reflux. Fifteen (79%) of 19 patients improved after treatment for GER.

Conclusions  The children in this population had a prevalence of GER that was significantly higher than expected. Furthermore, most children with GER demonstrated improvement of sinus disease after treatment of GER. We recommend that children with CSD refractory to aggressive medical management be evaluated for GER and, if GER is present, be treated accordingly, before sinus surgery is considered.